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Bountiful Women Book Cover

Bountiful Women


From the Author - Bonnie Bernell


The moment of decision to write this book came when my pal died at the age of 42, quickly, unexpectedly. His death compelled me to update my will. I wanted to give some money to research about weight because it had played a major role in how I lived my life. Then, suddenly, I realized that I did not have to wait until I died to have my say--I could say it now, and hopefully help a few people. "Bountiful" was the word that came to me to describe my life now. I loved its associations: generous, plentiful, compassionate. I thought everyone would want to be bountiful.

Rachel Naomi Remen, MD, author of Kitchen Table Wisdom and a favorite author of mine, writes about how limited we are if we look at what we are not instead of what we are. She also talks about the value of sharing our stories. So I wanted those themes of bountiful living and storytelling to guide what I had to say. I wanted to hear and share stories, my own and others, so that we could all be nurtured and encouraged by that sharing.

One of my stories is about crumbs. In our family, I do all the cooking. I cook from scratch making, for example, homemade pasta and sauces from actual vegetables--and I make a mess! My husband's job is to clean up. He does a great job cleaning up but sometimes he would leave some crumbs on the counter. Literally, I wanted to talk about those crumbs, not figurative crumbs, real crumbs. We had to learn to tell each other what personal story those crumbs were triggering. When he could actually understand what the crumbs meant to me and when I could actually understand what my talking about the crumbs on the counter meant to him--when we could hear each other's story--our already strong bond was deepened and our relationship was strengthened.

We learned how to validate each other and empathize with each other. The grand prize was that we discovered we had things to teach the other. That is what has made this book such a joy for me to write--I learned new things about others and myself. The women who spoke to each other learned. Hopefully you, the reader, will feel you have learned something new, or maybe been reminded of something you already knew, or found something that can enhance your life.

Since I continued my private practice as a psychologist while writing, I would wake up at 4 am, write until 7 am, sleep a bit and then go off to work. You see, I had to write this book! The thoughts would wake me and carry me upstairs to my studio in the middle of the night, with puppy under foot because this book had to be written!

After an unexpected discussion about the book with a man I didn't know he went out and bought the first pair of slacks that had fit in two years. He had been waiting until he lost weight he had gained. He felt better than he could remember. Another person had felt she had to give up horseback riding as a result of her weight gain. After a discussion, she found a horse that would comfortably hold her and bought him.

Learning to live bountifully is a challenge for all of us. I am a recovering serious person, someone who wants to make sure to live fully--do it all. When was the last time you blew bubbles at a grown up event? That's just what we did recently because that seemed liked the bountiful thing to do. No more waiting for me.

What have you been "weighting" to do?


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Bonnie Bernell

Bountiful Women
Bonnie Bernell

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